Update from the Bicycle Walrus

Ok, so what with all the rain in the afternoon these days we have not been riding our bikes to school much. Still, I wanted to point out that now I can make it up both hills on the way, sometimes even before Manu. (yeaaah. Admittedly, this is because I am not very good at standing when biking, particularly going up-hill, so I have to beast ahead at full speed so I don’t loose momentum.)

Also reading this article got me thinking about how different the bike culture is here. People who bike are generally people who can’t afford any other form of transportation (whether they be students of otherwise occupied) and sometimes have to go pretty far in all weather. Hardcore. Very not elitist. Still get treated pretty badly by drivers. And there are a lot of them.

Then there is the bike lane deal: when they do exist they are on the sidewalk with the pedestrians. Now initially this doesn’t seem like a terrible idea, except the pedestrians are jerks too. The wander all over the damn place and sometimes still yell at you. Or there are knuckleheads on motorized bike, or occasionally straight up motorcycles, and I want to say, “hey, I know you want to get out of traffic, but you don’t even have to do the work when you are stuck in traffic!” The bicycle lanes also randomly end, or switch sides, and the bridges for them are terrible.

So yeah, biking is scary. I like it a lot, but sometimes it also makes me very angry. Then there are Cyclovia Sundays. Whole roads are closed off so everyone and their families can leisurely get some exercise. This is when all the nice bikes come out. (Manu and I both have ghetto-looking single-speeds because that was the cheapest, and Bogotá is pretty flat anyway) These are the biking-for-fun-on-a-sunny-day people who will hop back in their cars come Monday and honk at me trying to merge onto the bridge. Why?!

A strange dichotomy. Of course taxi drivers hate cyclovia bikers as much as regular bikers because they block even more traffic. Taxi drivers are really the worst, and then the general public is various shades from “asshole” to “sure-I’ll-let-you-slip-infront-because-I-recognize-that-you-are-a-person-too.” Because I am a person too, even if my vehicle only has two wheels.


About syd

I like beats & beets
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2 Responses to Update from the Bicycle Walrus

  1. mmm says:

    just curious where u picked your bikes up.. I am moving back to bogota soon.. any suggestions would be appreciated…

    • syd says:

      We picked up our bikes on Jimenez between 20th and 16th I believe. There’s a whole bunch of shops there and you can get a bike pretty cheap, but make sure you try it out before you take off. Check the brakes, check the seat, y’know, make sure it’s legit enough. :)

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